The 18.8-mile Triangle Expressway serves the Research Triangle Park (RTP) region (including I-40) between Raleigh and Durham, as well as improves commuter mobility, accessibility and connectivity to the RTP employment center. The tolled highway comprises three sections:
- Phase 1 - 2.8 miles of NC 540 from NC 54 to NC 55 near Morrisville, which was constructed by North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) with Surface Transportation Funds (STP) funds and opened to traffic in 2007 (but not tolled until August 2012), and 3.4 miles of NC 147 from I-40 south to the interchange with NC 540 (opened in December 2011 and tolled in January 2012)
- Phase 2 - 6.6 miles of NC 540 from the southern terminus of Phase 1 at NC 55 to U.S. 64 (opened and tolled in August 2012)
- Phase 3 - 6 miles of NC 540 from the southern terminus of Phase 2 at U.S. 64 to NC 55 Bypass near Holly Springs (opened in January 2013)
Roadway and traffic conditions in the Tri Ex study area threatened to limit the region’s continuing economic development and growth. The Triangle Expressway accommodates growing demand, featuring a fully electronic tolling system designed to prevent significant traffic delays and improve corridor safety. The project improves commuter mobility, accessibility, and connectivity to the RTP employment center with an average expected travel time savings of 17 minutes per trip by 2030. The project is expected to generate approximately $811 million in total economic impact through the same time period. TIFIA financing allowed for the realization of these benefits with approximately 20 years sooner and with $388 million of cash flow interest cost savings compared to conventional financing methods.